The first two years, we held the festival in November, but we learned that November proved to be too cold for an outdoor festival. We decided to change the date to the second Saturday in October. It has proved to be a very good time for us. The weather is generally perfect for a festival held out of doors.
A tradition that we have kept is having all of the volunteers gather in a circle, hold hands, and pray before the festival begins. In the ten years of the festival’s existence, we have had rain only twice, and then it rained only part of the day and then cleared up so that the festival could go on.
After each festival, we have a wrap-up meeting. We discuss the problems that we encountered and share suggestions about how to make the festival better. As a result, the basic components of the festival have remained the same, but we have dropped things that have not worked and added new things as they were suggested.
As of the end of 2019, we will have contributed over $111,000 to the River Valley Christian Clinic and an equal amount to the Augsburg Food Pantry. The 2019 festival raised $29,440, allowing us to contribute $14,720 to each of these worthwhile charitable organizations.
Although the festival is sponsored by our church and is held on the 40 acres that our church its on, we would never be able to pull it off without the help of countless others of all faiths, many of whom come from as far away as Iowa, Oklahoma, California, and Hawaii.